Owner of Canton Rep and Columbus Dispatch Buys Akron Beacon Journal

Apr 11, 2018

The Akron Beacon Journal is being sold to GateHouse Media, owner of several Ohio papers including The Columbus Dispatch and The Canton Repository.

The Beacon Journal has been owned by Sound Publishing, a subsidiary of Vancouver-based Black Press, since 2006. New York-based GateHouse Media plans to rent the Beacon Journal building in downtown Akron on what’s described as a short-term lease, although no time frame has been given. GateHouse also says it will not recognize any labor agreements under the terms of the sale.

Bob DeMay has been with the Beacon Journal since 1999, and has been head of the paper’s unit of the Newspaper Guild for the past decade. He says GateHouse plans to interview current employees in the next week.

“It looks to be that they’re using the process they’re using in Columbus where many people will have to re-apply for their jobs.”

The Newspaper Guild currently covers about 50 reporters and photographers at the Beacon Journal. The interview process should wrap up by the end of the month, but it’s unclear which departments will be affected.

The Beacon Journal’s Bruce Winges has been with the paper since 1982, and editor since 2007. He says the paper’s strength is storytelling, and he hopes to enhance that in the coming years.

“I hope we get better at telling stories digitally and reaching audiences where the audiences are. I think that’s been a continuing process in our profession and needs to continue.

The Beacon Journal was first published in 1839 as the Summit Beacon, later merging with the Akron Evening Journal.

“The Beacon Journal has been here for 179 years, and we’re still here. We’re still committed to telling the story of Akron and Summit County with our professional journalists. And that hasn’t changed with this sale.”